Fire Resistance Big Asset in Insulation

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As this video graphically illustrates, insulation slows fire spread.

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John Wyatt of Walls and Ceilings magazine inspects the undamaged interior of the test house, which moments before was engulfed in flames.

Roxul, a producer of stone wool insulation made from natural stone and recycled slag, hosted a press tour of its Memphis, Tenn., insulation plant in May. Watching the manufacturing process involved in turning rock into insulation was fascinating, and I was impressed with the company’s efforts to reduce waste and mitigate pollution. (Next month’s issue of Green Builder magazine will talk about the company’s environmental initiatives, so stay tuned.) But by far the highlight of the day was a demonstration of the fire resistant quality of Roxul insulation.

As can be seen in the video, a representative of Roxul placed a box of chocolates inside a miniature house made of the company’s ComfortBoard product. Firefighters set it ablaze and stood by with hoses at the ready. They extinguished the fire after more than two and a half minutes of burn time; the box of chocolates emerged completely unscathed.

Roxul insulation can to help builders meet building energy codes. The company offers a product line available at Home Depot and Lowe’s, including

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Professional Remodeler editor Erika Taylor shows how easy it is to cut Roxul ComfortBatt insulation with a serrated knife.

ComfortBatt, ComfortBoard and Safe ‘n’ Sound. Product upsides include:

  • Ease of install. On the tour we were all asked to install insulation in a wall cavity. It could be done simply using a tape measure and a serrated knife. Once in place, the product won’t sag or settle.
  • Fireproof qualities, as demonstrated in the video.
  • Soundproofing. The company built a structure on its loud factory floor to illustrated the soundproofing qualities of the product. (Watch as Million Dollar Contractor Steve Fanuka walks through the Roxul Sound Tunnel with a decibel meter to demonstrate the sound attenuation properties of the insulation.)

You can see Roxul in action on building industry media outlets: Mark Clement of MyFixItUpLife highlights how easy the product is to install in a man cave basement remodel; Danny Lipford from Today’s Homeowner explains why he uses Safe ‘n’ Sound in this vid;  and Dan Paquette of Tiny House Customs installs Roxul’s insulation in the floor of a tiny house.